Student Blogger, James Jackman, talks us through the 5 key things you should think about whilst planning your interrail trip.
No matter where you go, your best companion will be your luggage. Firstly, forget about that suitcase, a large rucksack is what you need, 60 litres is a good size to aim for. A good idea is to take a sleeping bag and a liner with you, just in case your accommodation isn’t quite up to standard!
Hostels are the usual choice for travellers, particularly given their locations and price. You’ll be sharing your room with others, which may be hit and miss – especially if you get a snorer. A pair of earplugs and a sleep mask will make the worst dorm bearable. If you want something different, options such as ‘couchsurfing’ and house rentals (like Airbnb) have become popular. These can often offer you more of a local insight. Camping is a way to keep things very cheap, but you will need to bring your own tent.
An interesting one, do you go alone or with friends? Going alone can be scary at first, but the beauty of travelling is that are so many others who are doing it – you’re bound to bump into someone you get along with. Going with friends results in shared experiences and can mean there’s people you can lean on should you encounter any issues.
The big question – how long to go for? If you get a global pass you’ll have a range of options, from 5 travel days in 15, to a solid month of travelling. ‘5 travel days in 15’ means you’ll have 5 days in a set of 15 days when you can travel. If you’re a first time traveller, then the ‘5 travel days’ pass is probably for you, it means you can see 6 different cities and get a feel for Interrailing. A useful tip is that the pass duration only starts when you take your first train journey – so you can spend a few days in your first city, then start your pass!
Planning your route
One of the most important thing to consider is planning your route and how many days you’ll spend in each place. The usual method is to trawl through train timetables and knock out a spreadsheet with all your information on it. The Interrail Planner (www.interrailplanner.com) is a free website, which aims to take the worry out of route planning. Just choose your pass and dates then use their simple interface to enter your cities. You’ll see your route mapped out in front of you and you’ll even have the option to book hostels and train reservations from the website as well which is perfect for any Interrailer.
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